Fashion Style: The Best for Business in Paris

Find out the latest fashion trends and what to pack ahead of your business trip to the fashion capital of the world

One of the best fashion styling services in the French Capital is provided by the sought-after styling company, Paris Image Consulting.

This high-end fashion consultants prides itself on providing accessible, multi-lingual styling and grooming services from the heart of the French capital.

Founded by the sought-after certified color analyst, fashion stylist and image consultant, Eliana Sanchez Phaneuf, and her company is known to be something of a jewel in the oftentimes overwhelming Parisian fashion world.

Eliana, who trained at the Fashion Image Institute, offers intensive but friendly fashion styling sessions which can also include useful shopping experiences, essential wardrobe overhauls and color analysis. She consults in French, English, Italian and Spanish.

Her unique fashion styling skill lies in quickly and accurately assessing a clients face shape and coloring in order to provide an excellent wardrobe solution which will create unforgettable impressions.

Eliana Sanchez Phaneuf and a client in Paris

‘I believe once a woman feels beautiful, sophisticated and comfortable with herself then there is nothing she cannot achieve.’ –Eliana Sanchez Phaneuf- Personal Stylist, Paris

Here, style consultant Eliana tells Nativa World why clients seek out her services from all over the world, plus what fashion styles to look out for in the French capital

Eliana, how did you become a professional stylist?

When I was living in Milan I decided to go back to school after looking after my kids for a few years. I was always fascinated by beautiful clothes and the impact that they have on the person wearing them. I found a personal shopper course and since I love shopping, decided to give it a go. I started working with my teacher helping her and her clients when she was too busy. The clients were happy and I really enjoyed the experience.

I love working in Paris because there’s something beautiful here for everyone. There are iconic French designers, small boutiques, new young designers and you can find the perfect pieces, no matter what your budget or style and without compromising impeccable cuts and good quality. It’s hard to keep up with everything that goes on in the fashion world, but that only makes my job more interesting!

What makes your image consulting services special?

Every relationship that I have with my clients is unique. It’s professional, but it’s also very personal. It’s this special connection  that I develop with all my clients that creates something special. Also, for me preparation ahead of a shopping session is important. Before a session I make sure that I find exactly what my client is looking for, so we don’t waste any time. When I finally meet the client in person, I know which pieces to propose that she tries and where to find them. I strive to have her try clothes on that she may not normally choose for herself, but all the while continuing to respect and understand her preferences and personal style.

What styling services do you provide for businesswomen in Paris?

Image consulting, wardrobe makeovers and personal shopping are my specialties and the most popular services that I offer. They often compliment one another because once the client learns what suits her best, she needs to update and refresh her wardrobe. For my Paris-based clients, I help them prepare looks for special events or conferences, TV appearances or interviews. I also help with styling for job changes or when a client may be getting a promotion.

As a wardrobe consultant, my clients generally like to update their style and enjoy a more professional wardrobe. Most of my clients are businesswomen from all over the world and don’t live in Paris though. They visit the city on a regular basis, especially during the sales periods. I’m in contact with them, usually by email and always help them with any style questions they may have from afar.

How does the process work with your clients?

After receiving an email in the contact section on my website, I start exchanging ideas with a prospective client in which they tell me what services they’re interested in. They tell me their suggestions and send pictures which helps me get a better idea of their style. These exchanges are important because it helps me get a better understanding of a clients needs and expectations.

The shopping-on-demand service is for women who come to Paris who do not have time to go shopping and who need to buy a gift for someone special. After an exchange I get an idea of what they’re looking for and then find the ideal gift or item desired and provide that gift wrapped and ready.

What are the latest fashion trends in Paris for businesswomen?

The velvet blazer jacket, in wine, navy blue, or black color. Parisian businesswoman like to wear classic pieces. They like to wear dark colors, which they match with beautiful silk scarves to add a bit of color. A designer or high quality leather handbag often is a key accompaniment. Their coats are often tailored, makeup is natural and they wear amazing jewelry that sometimes has been gifted  from generation to generation.

Are there any special local boutiques that you can recommend in Paris?

I would recommend shopping in the 6em arrondissement of Paris. There you can find all the high-end and medium price range boutiques. And of course if you have time you can have a shopping break and head to Café Pouchkine for a delicious patisserie!

The top stylist Eliana Sanchez Phaneuf shopping in Paris

What do most of your female business clients struggle with vis a vis their fashion styling and grooming?

Most of them find it hard to let their personality show through their clothes. They may also find it difficult to mix and match pieces. I help them by giving them tools that help them put those pieces together, like the best color combinations or how to pair up different shapes. Sometimes we discover her personal style and then work together on developing it. I can also put a ‘look book’ together with the items she already has in her closet or items that we bought so she can print it and use it whenever she isn’t sure how to style a specific piece.

What has been the most rewarding moment for you as a style consultant?

I received a beautiful ‘Thank You’ note from a client where she explained how the outfit we chose together made her feel and look confident for a special work engagement. Every time I receive a note or a picture of a client looking fabulous, comfortable and sure of themselves it makes me feel so proud and happy to do my job!

Wearing the right clothes can make you feel empowered. Fashion styling and image matter in business because you are representing your brand and people around react to the way you present yourself. I believe once a woman feels beautiful, sophisticated and comfortable with herself then there is nothing she cannot achieve.

Who inspires you in the business and fashion styling worlds?

Lauren Santo Domingo. She co-founded Moda Operandi, an online fashion retailer, where you can purchase looks off the runway and online trunk shows. The website is perfection; the looks are beautiful, fun and original. She introduces new designers and is a contributing editor at Vogue. She is an independent, stylish and powerful woman.

Are there any high-profile French businesswomen who look stylish?

Christine Lagarde. She is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Even though her job is corporate she doesn’t dress to blend in. She shows her personality and isn’t afraid to show her femininity in a male dominated environment. She’s always impeccably dressed, uses colors and has fun with accessories and jewelry.

Which are your favorite French designers and why?

Christian Dior: For elegance, femininity and sophistication.
Givenchy: For chic, romantic and sensual fashion.
Celine: For modern, comfortable and cool clothes.

Eliana Sanchez Phaneuf on a shopping spree for a client in Paris

Which new French fashion designers should we be looking out for in 2016?

Sébastien Meyer et  Arnaud Vaillant who are new artistic directors at Courrèges. Also, David Vincent Camuglio produces original, contemporary pieces in beautiful fabrics.

Eliana’s fashion tips for a business trip to Paris:

  • Little black dress
  • Silk scarf
  • Feminine blouse
  • Blazer Jacket
  • Classic pumps

Eliana’s beauty tips for a business trip to Paris:

  • Good Moisturizer, this is the one product you should spend a little extra money on!
  • You Signature perfume
  • Tinted lip moisturizer or lip gloss
  • Blush, never leave the house without a bit of color on your cheeks
  • Red lipstick, a girl always needs to have a red lipstick!

Eliana’s fashion styling tips:

  • Your coat it’s the most important piece of your winter wardrobe.
  • Try a modern cut or a different color that the classic black or grey.
  • Invest in a soft, cozy cashmere sweeter. It’s a wardrobe basic.
  • Add color to your outfit wearing fun colorful leather gloves.
  • Mix casual and dressy pieces together to make the look more polished and interesting.
  • Don’t wear your running shoes as everyday footwear.

You can also connect with Eliana on Facebook.

Photography courtesy of Solène Perrot